Page 38 - Salem Magazine Spring 2011
P. 38

   Rotanz played varsity lacrosse three seasons for the Hokies
so mad about it that I didn’t even buy the shirt that year, so I had plenty of motivation to win it this time.”
She laughs about that “boycott” now, but the fact is she got her competitive genes honestly from her mom and dad, Wendy and Bob Rotanz. Her mom was a tremendous competitive swimmer at Roanoke College and recently earned her black belt in karate, and most people know that her dad was the National Lacrosse Player of the Year in 1978 when he led the Maroons to a national championship.
“They have never stopped me from pursuing what I’ve wanted to do,” she says. “They went above and beyond to help me out when I decided to get into graphic design, and when I told them I wasn’t going to play lacrosse anymore they were very supportive.”
After graduating from Salem High school in 2007, Rotanz played varsity lacrosse for the Hokies her first three years of college before deciding to give up the sport for her senior season.
“I was a little nervous telling my dad about my decision because lacrosse is the love of his life, but he was very supportive and I’m very happy with my decision,” she says. “He and my mom are the best role models ever.”
Her path to success is worth noting for parents and students alike because had it not been for a suggestion she received from one of her high school teachers, she may not have ended up with her artwork plastered across the backs of members of the Hokie Nation.
“I was considering architecture, but I knew playing a sport in college and working on that major would be close to impossible plus, I don’t really like math,” she says. “Mr. Wallace at Salem High School suggested that I try his graphic design class and that immediately became my passion.”
That passion, talent and some connections are helping Katie quickly build up her portfolio. One of her uncles on her dad’s side of the family, Tom Rotanz, recently
Photo courtesy VT - Dave Knachel
developed a weighted lacrosse stick that serves as a training tool for players. Katie got to design the logo for the “Power Shaft” product and as a result she now has a valuable internship lined up after graduation at Inside Lacrosse magazine in Baltimore.
“The combination of lacrosse and design is absolutely perfect for me,” she says.
That internship will be unpaid, but the other day Katie got another glimpse of life after graduation when she unexpectedly received a $300 check for her award- winning t-shirt design.
That’s what you call the “Green Effect.”
- MS
Salem Magazine Spring Issue 2011 38
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